Nicosia has been the capital of Cyprus for over 1000 years, and hosts about one third of the island's population. It has a wealth of heritage, containing some of the world's finest examples of Byzantine, French, Venetian, Ottoman and British architecture.
Although there are deep felt differences, The Turkish and Greek communities established a close cooperation in the late 70s, initially to address the lack of infrastructure caused by the division of the city.
The Nicosia Master Plan (NMP) is a bi-communal project that began in 1979, bringing the two communities of Nicosia together to work for an improved city for all.. the NMP conducted a detailed assessment of the city's structure and developed a long-term plan for its future development.
During the process of preparing the Master Plan, particular attention was paid to the definition of preservation and rehabilitation policy for the walled city, which is considered the most precious part of Nicosia. An investment programme for special projects within the walled city and the central business are was approved.
One of the major tasks was to strengthen the administrative and service functions of the area, and to participate in the creation of a visually identifiable centre for the city.
From 1989, brick and mortar activities began with two major residential projects for the Chrysaliniotissa area of south Nicosia, and the Arabahmet area in the north. Both neighbourhoods are located next to the buffer zone and had been largely neglected and housed a large percentage of single person and low income households. In these areas, the policy focused mainly to the improvement of housing conditions and the provision of community facilities in order to attract young couples with children to the area.
Other projects in the walled city are focused on the restoration of historic buildings and the upgrading of existing public spaces.
This implementation phase is still ongoing, with many special projects carried out by the NMP to date.